D'Amigo's got ‘lightning speed’

ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:09 PM ET

TORONTO - If there is a poster boy for Maple Leafs prospects, it just may be forward Jerry D’Amigo.

The Binghampton, N.Y., native was a sixth-round pick of the Leafs (158th overall) in 2009 but has certainly shot up on the Maple Leafs radar in terms of potential.

The 19-year-old winger made his biggest splash at last year’s world junior championship where he recorded 13 points in helping Team USA win gold.

“Lightning speed,” was Leafs director of player development Jim Hughes’ answer when asked how quickly D’Amigo has improved in a year. “He’s accelerated.

“He’s another guy who has a burning desire to be a National Hockey League player and he’s on the right track.”

At 6-feet and 210 pounds, D’Amigo has developed physically as well and has shown the signs of being the type of player general manager Brian Burke covets. He’s getting another shot at displaying his progress in front of Leafs management this week as part of the team’s annual prospects camp.

Pegged to enter his sophomore NCAA season at RPI in New York state, D’Amigo knows he is probably at least two seasons away from being in the NHL, but his world junior performance was a huge confidence builder.

“It gave me the confidence I could play with the big boys and first-round draft picks,” D’Amigo said. “I had a good tournament, the team did very well there and we won gold. It was a great experience.

“I’m trying to work as hard as I can to get (to the Leafs) as fast as I can. I’m preparing myself for that every day.”


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